AboutIshikawa Prefecture

Ishikawa offers an abundance of attractions within one prefecture and in every season Ishikawa Prefecture is located in the Hokuriku region, in the middle part of the Japanese islands, and facing the Sea of Japan. Its nature is abundant throughout the four seasons: beautiful cherry blossoms in spring, the shining Sea of Japan in summer, the colorful forests in autumn, and the snowy scenery in winter.

Ishikawa Prefecture is divided broadly into four areas, each possessing its unique culture, tradition, and attractions. First is the castle town of Kanazawa where the culture of "Kaga Hyakumangoku" (the old nickname of Ishikawa) lives on in modern times. Next are the beautiful landscapes of the Noto Peninsula, "Noto's Satoyama-Satoumi", a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS); then come the hot spring towns of Kaga Onsen, rated as some of the best in the Hokuriku region, with a history stretching back 1300 years; finally, there is the Hakusan area named after Mount Hakusan, one of Japan's three famous peaks, with its mountain village culture based on the abundance of the surrounding nature.

How to Get There

  • JAPAN RAIL PASS
  • 北陸アーチパス

History and Culture

Ishikawa will seduce you with its refined culture and beautiful nature Ishikawa Prefecture's unique history and culture were developed and refined throughout the ages by the constant flow of people from other areas of Japan, attracted by its abundant natural resources.

During the Edo period (1603-1868), Ishikawa prefecture was part of Kaga province ruled by the Maeda clan, and was called "Kaga hyakumangoku." The term "hyakumangoku" refers to the amount of rice consumed by one million people in one year. Since the old province of Kaga could sustain a large population for those times, this nickname was meant to symbolize the wealth of its feudal lords.

The culture of the samurai castle town became deeply embedded in Kanazawa city thanks to the backing of the feudal lords for the production of handicrafts and the art of tea ceremony. Later on, the city was spared damage during World War II and from major natural disasters. Thus, the traditional samurai residences and cultural properties have survived intact till today. Nowadays, Kanazawa city is known as a city of art.

Due to its central location within the Japanese islands, and proximity to the Sea of Japan, Ishikawa prefecture has long been a transportation hub for land and sea travel as well as a place of bustling commerce. The "Satoyama" and "Satoumi" settlements where inhabitants and nature coexist in mountain valleys or on the sea coast were created over time as people lived there. At present, the unique character of the people of Ishikawa is said to come from their love of gourmet food, which they can satisfy thanks to the abundance of seafood from the nearby Sea of Japan.

So how about taking some time to fully enjoy the soul-soothing nature and traditional culture of Ishikawa Prefecture?

Ishikawa Highlights